Top Leaderboard, Site wide
November 22, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Green Revolution Trebles Human Burden on Planet




Joan of Arc


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Bracing for a Major Disappointment

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Nov 18, 2008

By William Pfaff

BRUSSELS—The Americans who voted for Barack Obama as president were promised change they could count on, but it rather looks as if they may actually be asked to make do with a mildly refurbished Clinton administration, with many of the same officials and nearly all of the same policies. The policies are drawn from the same centrist Democratic Party sources as those of Bill Clinton, and Obama’s admirers might even find themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state—which makes no sense whatsoever.

Are there no significant differences of view on war and peace between the two of them? Why did the American (and international) public have to endure a year and a half of Democratic Party primaries in addition to the national election contest if the Democratic race could have been settled by the flip of a coin between people who believed in the same policies and thought the same thoughts?

Where is the sweeping change Barack Obama was promising the electorate? Looking back, he was rarely specific about the changes he intended to make. He constantly invoked the principle of change, without going much into the messy details, for which—admittedly—he was criticized at the time.

Many who voted for him, as did this writer, relied upon his evident qualities, in comparison with his predecessor and most of his competitors, which were that he clearly was very intelligent, as well as balanced and mature: He was an adult, who spoke to his audiences as fellow adults. This was his great difference from Hillary Clinton. Personally very intelligent, she has spent too long in the shady political precincts of ambition and calculation. She could never have made the speech Obama made on race. (Possibly he will never again be able to make such a speech. He has himself said that we must settle down now to being disappointed by Obama.)

The disappointment problem is international. Because of the enormous expectations Obama’s election has aroused abroad, above all among America’s European allies, any Obama-Clinton restoration of Clintonism would be met with incomprehension and disappointment. This is not because the Clinton administration was so awful, but because it was so confused in perception and lacking in foreign policy direction that it was easy for George W. Bush to merge it into the Great War on Terror. He had simply to add fear, security hysteria, lies about mass destruction weapons, and torture.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Europeans had never thought of Americans as torturers. When it turned out that the sponsors and defenders of torture occupied the highest offices of government in the United States, with the chief legal enablers of torture in the White House counsel’s office itself, and heading no less than the Department of Justice, a chill passed through the Western alliance. It was noted that the chosen euphemism for torture by the president, lawyers and the CIA was “enhanced measures,” a direct translation of the term employed by the Gestapo.

I was just in Brussels to speak to the European Ideas Network, sponsored by the Christian Democratic-Center Right-Conservative group, the largest in the European Parliament. The audience seemed taken aback when I answered their question about what will change in European-American relations under Barack Obama by replying, “Probably not much.”

The president-elect has said he will stop torture and extra-legal imprisonment, but on fundamental matters of transatlantic relations, he clearly has indicated that he wants an alliance in which the Europeans contribute more. (This will undoubtedly be a welcome change from the Bush effort to split the European Union by encouraging hostility toward the West Europeans by the pro-American former Warsaw Pact governments.)

The U.S. contribution to the Georgia fiasco has undermined its reputation among the East Europeans. In the future, there probably will be more American consultation and good will in transatlantic relations, and perhaps even in dealing with Russia (there certainly is nothing to gain from hostility). However, Barack Obama himself said in his Berlin speech that he expects the Europeans to contribute a lot more to “winning” the war in Afghanistan.

This is not a popular idea; the European governments have been encouraging regional diplomatic solutions for Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Most Americans may be surprised to know that there is West European concern (as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told a Brookings audience in Washington last week) that the new American administration might try to take all this over for itself, and thereby wreck the progress already made. After all, it was Barack Obama who said that he would himself talk to the Iranians.

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2008 Tribune Media Services Inc.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Maani, November 25, 2008 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

Clash:

I hope I didn’t leave the wrong impression: I am not a proponent of nuclear power, even if it HAS gotten a tad safer overall.  And you bring up an excellent point about the energy it takes (and thus the damage created) to build the damn things in the first place.

You say, “The future is always hidden we and can only hope not to repeat the same mistakes over and over.”

Excellently put.  Bravo.

Peace.

Report this
Clash's avatar

By Clash, November 25, 2008 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Maani:

The purpose of raising the subject was only to open eyes and mind’s to the real possibility of having to go back into battle with those that may see the nuclear dragon as the solution to the energy crisis that confronts this planet and all the inhabitants. While somewhat safe in operation the fact is that the pollution directly attributed to building these machines far out weighs their usefulness that has not changed. The use of their waste by products as simple weapons has irrevocably destroyed Iraq (depleted uranium used with wanton disregard to the consequence). I can only thank you for being part of the first battle but the war seems to never end. So while the ruling class makes their plans to save us, we that remember need to be ever vigilant to their out right greed and stupidity. The future is always hidden we and can only hope not to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

Report this

By Maani, November 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Clash:

Nuclear POWER IS somewhat safer than it was, in as much as the siting of plants, the building of plants and the actual generation of power goes.  However, power plants still emit low levels of radiation - and, of course, there is the question of what to do with spent fuel rods, which are radioactive for thousands of years.  [N.B. I knew Dr. Caldicott, and marched with her and others in the heady days of the anti-nuke movement.]

Folktruther:

My spirituo-religious journey is a bit lengthy to get into here (and this is probably not the appropriate thread…LOL).  Suffice to say that it was both interesting and satisfying.

Peace.

Report this
Clash's avatar

By Clash, November 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes, I just sit here in amazement while pondering the things that my fellow human beings find to fill their days and minds with. While it is quite obvious that most can see the future, I must say that they have a very narrow view of the present (see the new boss the same as the old boss comes to mind). While the people have spoken on their choices for social change they have all but forgotten the insidious doctrine that prevails in the body politic, shock. While some believe this doctrine is only used in some other country an not here against us, I think it can be shown to be happening right in front of us, gas prices rising to 4.00$ per gal then 1.79$ in just a few months, the robbery of the people to fill the coffers of the banking institutions, bailouts for the fascist corporate financial institutions all done in an EMERGENCY, with very little opposition from the congress, all scripted most likely. Plans to build antiquated infrastructure for the bailed out auto industry so they can continue to build antique modes of transportation seems to be just more of the same bullshit with a different name. We are paying for hope and change and any one who thought that because we voted for Berry we could just go back to watching the world go by without participating just doesn’t have a clue. Yes you may find that these comments gore the ox of the millions that may loose their jobs, but since the future is not in my crystal ball yet who knows. It is pretty obvious that even the leading financial experts can’t see even one day into the future or won’t read that part of the script to us

I would ask what happened to future thinking, why does Berry think nuclear power is any less dangerous than it was when Dr. Helen Caldicott, lead the actions against the nuclear industry so long ago, Berry needs to read her new book Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. Why are we not hearing what the plan will be for overcoming the energy crisis? Why is all the funding going to the major players? Why tax credits for those who by antique autos and not for solar panels for the public? Why are schools being closed to thousands of children across this country? You see we need to be asking these questions and a1000 more, asking them every day to anyone who will listen including, senators, congresspersons, and the almighty Berry himself. The point is that everyone must stay informed everyday to all issues great and small if you truly believe that the human species should survive on this planet. This is not complicated it only is being made to seem this way by those who are in control, and have the most power and material things to loose. We the People need to stay engaged with our politician’s everyday and feed back to them the crap we perceive, and shove it down their throats. 

It is ludicrous for those who suggest that a violent revolution in this country would even succeed as long as enough people believe they have enough to eat, a warm place to sleep, some kind of mind numbing job to support it all and the fear that it will all be taken from them (part of the doctrine of control). Anyway as one who has seen revolution close up those who support this type of action I ask again what are YOU willing to give up, your home your children your life. When bullets fly people really die and if its death and destruction you are looking for the state department can give you ideas on some great vacation spots, and don’t forget the North American Command has been mobilized for just this sort of fun. Oh well I’m missing Oprah.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 25, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

You are right, Maani, that the Religious loonies lost power in the 2008 elections.  My first sentence was a typo and stated ‘election’ rather than ‘elections’. 

You are Jewish and a minister?  Did you want to say how that came about?

Anarcissie- the quote is from Kevin Phillips recent book BAD MONEY.  There is no going back to Taft for the Gops; it has mutated into a religous conservative party like the European ones. 

These are END TIMES politically for the US power system, symbolically portrayed in religious guise for the religious loonies.  It is true they feel betrayed, but they mostly lack the critical ability to think reasonably.  Their delusive religious ideology will keep them fastened to the Gops like the delusive political ideollogy of liberals will keep them fastened to the Dems.

Report this

By Maani, November 24, 2008 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

You are correct.  If this election proved anything about the “religious right” it is that they can no longer be counted on by the G.O.P. as a monolithic base group.  They are increasingly fractionlized - and they have no one but themselves to blame.

Peace.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 24, 2008 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

As the the fortunes and the mood of the Religious Right, I can only go by what I read, not being a frequenter of Fundamentalist megachurches.  What I read is that the younger people—not just the rank and file, but the younger leadership—are pretty strongly turned off their churches’ foray into mainstream politics.  They were told G. W. Bush was a man of God and now many of them seem to realize that they were cynically exploited.  I hope and pray the rest will follow Sarah Palin off some convenient political cliff.  It would be nice to have the Republican Party regain its sanity and settle down to its one-time role of being the fusty old conservative fiscal-prudence guys.  The Tafts must be rotating in their graves at a speed which would make them an interesting source of new energy.

Report this

By Maani, November 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Folkliar:

“The religious right…increased their numbers and political clout in the election. Kevin Phillips estimated that at least 40% of GOP support came from the loonies.”

?????  Where on earth did you get THIS from?  In fact, the religious right LOST elective power during this election since (i) more young Christians (including evangelicals) were newly registered than older Christians, and (ii) among those young Christians (18-25 and 26-44), Obama “stole” 7 percent from these ranks.  And the number of “older” Christians (44+) voted in numbers equal to OR LESS THAN those who voted in 2000 and 2004.  So even if THEIR vote went largely (but not monolithically) for McCain, there is NO WAY you can state with any veracity that they “increased their political clout” in the 2008 election.

“The LEFT BEHIND series sold, as of a few years ago, SIXTY MILLION COPIES.”

And this means…what?  I have read the books, and I am not a member of the religious right, nor do I support it (despite being a minister).  And I know PLENTY of people who have read the books and have little or no love for the religious right.  All you do is show your hopelessly generalized biases when you make comments like this, as if they actually MEAN something.

“The religious organs were given government money to feed and prosletize the poor.  Religious leaders were given government posts as well as the usual rich handouts.”

Please give even a single example (though, given your comment, you owe more) of a religious leader who was given a government post in the Obama administration.

You know, the longer you post here, the deeper your foot goes into your mouth.

Peace.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 24, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

The Religious Right got 4 things they wanted:
Scalia
Thomas
Alito
Roberts

And Kennedy keeps letting himself be courted and wooed by them.

One more and the Religious Right doesn’t NEED anything else…and, currently, Kennedy is giving them most of what they want.

Expect Scalia to be on the court 10-20 years more
Thomas: Same
Alito: 25-35 years
Roberts: 30-40 years.

But, if he keeps showing his bias (hunting with Cheney before ruling on a case involving Cheney), Scalia will be impeachable.  And Thomas ruled on the Bush/Gore case while his wife was vetting cab appts for Bush!

Hell, Abe Fortas got forced off the court for far, far less than Scalia or Thomas.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 24, 2008 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

The religious right, Anarcissie, increased their numbers and political clout in the election. Kevin Phillips estimated that at least 40% of Gop support came from the loonies. The LEFT BEHIND series sold, as of a few years ago, SIXTY MILLION COPIES. The religious organs were given government money to feed and prosletize the poor.  Religious leaders were given government posts as well as the usual rich handouts.

Of course the general believer got zilch, as was the case of general person in both the Dem and Gop parties.  Many supported Huckabee, who was a populist who advocated the Fair Tax that would eliminate income tax for the rich, and increase their own cost of living by half.

The leaders of the movement got a lot, the general loony was validated in his looniness, the power structure neutralized the poor where it didn’t recruit them, and the Dem leaders went to church and prayer breakfasts, catering to the dingbats.

The dingbat brigades pulled the American truth consensus to the right and legitimated power delusions that were incompatible with the simple truth about power.

They got a lot, temporarily in any event historically.  You want to be careful of your scepticism, Anarcissie, it may weigh you down during the Rapture.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 24, 2008 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Folktruther (to ITW): ’...  You are right in principle about the need for a historical ideological struggle like the one conducted by the religous loonies.  But they conducted it successfully where they were strongest, in rural areas.  Progressive ideology must focus on the cities and urban areas.  Lacking the money that the ruling class provides the right wing. ...’

I don’t think the Religious Right has been all that successful in practical terms.  I don’t think they got anything they wanted, unless possibly the vulgarization of the already settled ruling-class habit of imperial war, which had hitherto been justified with rather high-flown liberal-elite rhetoric.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 24, 2008 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

The vote ‘landslide’ for Ovama was 52%, Inherit.  I didn’t much care who won, but I hoped a greater proportion of the population voted.

When you say you love Democracy I assume you mean American democracy, not Hamas democracy or Venzuelan democracy.  Why not, it fosters Zionism and isn’t anti-Semetic enough to raise your taxes.

You are right in principle about the need for a historical ideological struggle like the one conducted by the religous loonies.  But they conducted it successfully where they were strongest, in rural areas.  Progressive ideology must focus on the cities and urban areas.  Lacking the money that the ruling class provides the right wing.

I would gues based initially in the schools, since the American power struture has largely destroyed the unions.

Report this

By Maani, November 23, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

ITW:

The quote about democracy came from Winston Churchill.

Peace.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:
You ignorant lout!  It took you two whole days to come up with….“I dunno….”???????
(lol!)
(BTW, You really need to recognize sarcasm even when it’s written.)

You make my point for me—you hate American Democracy but have NO alternative for it.  Wasn’t it Lincoln who said it was the worst possible system of government—except for all the others?

Actually, YOUR complaint is that the electorate didn’t vote the way YOU wanted it to, so, rather than recognize that you just have to suck it up and live with it, instead you whine and complain and make all kinds of excuses why it wasn’t a “real” election. I don’t need to list the excuses, you’ve done it plenty of times.

I’ve said this before: If you want a model of how to attain power in the US when you are an outsider, study the tactics that the religious right, a la Falwell and Robertson, used to insinuate themselves into our government.  I’m not saying follow their policy positions—I presume you are perceptive enough to know I detest them—but learn from their tactics.

They contested every school board and town hall election from Bumf**k, Idaho to Sodomy, South Carolina.  They fought every little battle they could and then they fought to change (I think we agree “destroy”) the schools and town ordinances.  They built up organizations in small states, where 150,000 votes elects a governor or senator (look at the Alaska vote totals).  They never gave up. They b****ed about the “liberal media” and supported Fixed Noise Nemesis. They had a long-range plan and kept at it.  Only now has if finally completely imploded on them—30 years after Fartwell brought out the “Moral Majority”—but that’s due to its colossal failures.

But look how they attained power and influence.  If you want that for your Marxist views, you’ll need to do the same thing.

See, I LOVE democracy.  I think, when someone REALLY has a dominant majority, like Obama, it’s nearly impossible to “fix” it.  But in 2000 and 2004 it was possible, because it was close (and Gore didn’t realize how dirty Bush was, and Kerry was, well, our own version of McCain—inept).

You already know I want to do away with the Electoral College, so you know I’m not defending that.

But if you and your fellow REALLY want radical change, rather than whining about it, see how it’s been done, from both the Left AND the Right.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Marx expected the rich to get richer and the poor poorer through a number of crisises until the vast majority of people, increasing their solidarity over historical time, simply plucked the economy away from the increasingly isolated ruling class.

Marx didn’t specify how socialism would be institutionalized because he didn’t know how.  Marx’s theory is a critique of capitalism.

The major defect as a critque of power is the lack of racism or more generally ethnism used by the ruling class to unite with the people across class boundaries.  You could argue that orginally it was a White Man’s progressive theory.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

I haven’t read all of Marx, but it’s my impression from what I have read that he expected capitalism to collapse, not be defeated by a competing power.  That large institutions and systems can collapse because of their internal conflicts and contradictions can be observed in our own times; ironically, the biggest poster child is the Soviet Union, although any of the European empires which disappeared after World War 2 could also be taken as examples.  But capitalism itself has managed to transform itself during periods of crisis and so survive.  We are now observing a lot of the capitalist structure of the world economy fold up, and thus far its masters don’t seem to know how to fix it other than by reapplying the old fixes again and again even though their virtue has been clearly depleted.  Nor, I am told, does Marx supply any concrete plan for the replacement of capitalism; “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie replaced by dictatorship of the proletariat” hardly qualifies as a plan, or even a plan to make a plan.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

So, Inherit! You come crawling to me, your brilliant critical friend, for the simple truth about What Should Be Done!

How the hell should I know?  I don’t know anything about practical politics.  Marx didn’t say how socialism should be imposed, he just argued how capitalism could be defeated.  Your conception of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ is the usual American mainstream drivel.  But your question is a good one; if I knew the answer I wouldn’t be searching for it here.

But I think the US is a good place to initiate social forms.  I just don’t know what those social forms will be.  Look how the Chinese power system evolved over a half century.  It’s the kind of thing that you just can’t tell before hand; it has to be worked out at the time.

Report this

By Maani, November 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

So here’s how it seems to be shaping up so far:

State: Clinton (unless she declines)
Treasury: Geithner
Commerce: Richardson (just announced as probable)
HHS: Daschle
Defense: Gates (? - at least for the time being)
DHS: Napolitano
AG: Holder
OMB: Orszag
CoS: Emanuel

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 21 at 1:51 pm #

The vote proportions that are relevant for democracy are the number of votes as a proportion of the total population.  In American presidential elections this has been below 40% or less, and in off years, much less.  Far less than other liberal power systems, since the function of how the registration and voting system works discriminates historically against the poorer members of the population, and against racial minorities.

But the US has always been a Democracy by definition in American ideology, no matter how many people were enslaved, disinfranchized, imprisoned, or impovrished historically.  Or how corrupt the candidates were who were supported by their financiers.

Actually, Greek Democracy was far more democratic for the people who voted, which Engels estimated as only 1 out 18 of the population.  But obscuring the vote proportions and other power figures is a characteristic of liberal Democracy; the power system cound’t function without obscurity and deceit.
*****************************************

Uh-huh.  And Marx and Engels couldn’t come up with anything better…so they came up with that atrocity “Dictatorship of The Proletariat”.  Of course, before the first generation of “Dictators” was gone (Lenin’s team) they were already now the new elite…and it was just a different variant of feudalism until Gorbachev.

So, my brilliant critical friend, who knows better than you about what we should do?  So…what should we do?  How do you and I and Maani and Outraged all get to have a voice, a real voice in how we rule ourselves?

Don’t forget: Athenian Democracy devolved into tyranny as well, as did Roman Democracy.  And always by some guy who thought HE knew best how to run things.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

The vote proportions that are relevant for democracy are the number of votes as a proportion of the total population.  In American presidential elections this has been below 40% or less, and in off years, much less.  Far less than other liberal power systems, since the function of how the registration and voting system works discriminates historically against the poorer members of the population, and against racial minorities. 

But the US has always been a Democracy by definition in American ideology, no matter how many people were enslaved, disinfranchized, imprisoned, or impovrished historically.  Or how corrupt the candidates were who were supported by their financiers.

Actually, Greek Democracy was far more democratic for the people who voted, which Engels estimated as only 1 out 18 of the population.  But obscuring the vote proportions and other power figures is a characteristic of liberal Democracy; the power system cound’t function without obscurity and deceit.

Report this

By Maani, November 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

ITW:

Glad to see we are in agreement about something…LOL.  Yes, 210 million “eligible” voters, so those ~35 million who are eligible but have not registered (even as Inds) are most to be castigated.  As for the 25% of registered voters who did not vote, shame on them as well!

I also agree with you completely re the Constitution.  Yet that does not change the “power” of the DOI as a component of the Americans political thought process.  And my guess is that the founders probably felt that the Bill of Rights provided the “force of law” necessary to carry out the DOI’s intent: i.e., freedom of speech, assembly, press, and vote.  I was not suggesting that the DOI suggests forceable or violent overthrow (though it does not expressly prohibit that).  Only that it gives people something to THINK about vis-a-vis how their government is acting (or not).

Peace.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 21, 2008 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Maani, November 21 at 8:26 am #

ITW:

Don’t know where you got your numbers, but they’re wrong.  There are 210 million people of voting age - not registered voters.  There are approximately 175 million registered voters, and ~130 million of them voted.  This represents about 75% - a fairly high number given modern presidential elections.

Second, the DOI does not NEED “force of law”; it is an IDEA, it represents a PRINCIPLE - thus it has the force of something much greater than law.  As “V” says when Creedy asks why V isn’t dead after being shot with dozens of bullets, “Behind this mask is an idea - and ideas are bullterproof.”

Aznemesis:

Brava!

RdV:

Like so many people, you proceed from false premise: Obama NEVER represented the “progressive” movement.  Nor did he claim to.  In fact, with few exceptions, his positions on most issues, both domestic and foreign, were virtually identical to Hillary’s for most of the primary race.  And for the umpteenth time, just because many of Obama’s choices are ex-Clintonites does not mean that (i) they have not learned from past mistakes, and (ii) they are any less obligated to enforce the PRESIDENT’S agenda and NOT their own.

As for Hillary, she was hardly one of the “loudest hawks” on Iraq.  Even her vote in favor of the Iraq War Resolution was difficult for her, as she made clear in her speech to the Senate (have you ever even read it?).  And WHATEVER she did in the past, her position during the campaign was, from the very beginning, to end the war.  In fact, it was SHE who came up with both the “13-month” timeline for withdrawal and the removal of “two brigades per month” - both of which Obama stole from her later in the campaign.  So get your facts straight.

As for Kucinich, it is BECAUSE a SoS is the MOST obligated to enforce the president’s agenda that Kucinich is not only the absolutely WRONG choice (since he and Obama agree on almost nothing), but would not accept the position if offered.
***************************************

Maani: I said “eligible”, not registered. I stand by that—and you agree: 210,000,000 are eligible.

The DOI is a WONDERFUL document, and when it was issued it could only be defined as either having the force of law or being treason, that decision being decided by whether or not the Revolution/Rebellion succeeded (Law) or failed (treason)....

Still, it currently has no force of law.  HOWEVER, the Constitution of the United States DOES have the force of law, and we need, as citizens to demand that it be enforced.

As for the rest of your post…Thanks for saying it because it means I don’t have to.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, November 21, 2008 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Before the election I had come to the conclusion that Obama was a socialist. I feared he was a stealth candidate who might tip us towards an authoritarian leftist government with the help of a fawning mainstream media.

Reading the posts here, when I see that the authoritarian types from the Far Left arent happy about Obama’s election, I take heart. Maybe I was wrong.

And then i see some of you taking up a spirited defense of our freedom. Freedom is everything to me. Those of you who did this… I like you quite a bit more now. If we ever argue about something else, remind me of what you did here and I will reconsider whatever we are arguing about.

This has been a rare thread. After reading it i am less worried about the American Left. Usually I get more worried.

Report this

By RdV, November 21, 2008 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

“And for the umpteenth time, just because many of Obama’s choices are ex-Clintonites does not mean that (i) they have not learned from past mistakes, and (ii) they are any less obligated to enforce the PRESIDENT’S agenda and NOT their own.”

  Hey you are right. I think we should maintain all those inside the beltway players in the hopes that one of these days they will get it right and don’t make me laugh about who they serve.
 
  You know I wouldn’t care if such naivete was limited to only the suckers buying the spin, but the stupidity that people repeatedly demonstrate pulls us all down. Ignorance is truly bliss until it comes time to pay the piper.
  The one thing I can say about Clinton is she polarizes—she is divisive and so much for unity, eh? Divided we fail—just where they want us, sucker.

Report this

By Maani, November 21, 2008 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

ITW:

Don’t know where you got your numbers, but they’re wrong.  There are 210 million people of voting age - not registered voters.  There are approximately 175 million registered voters, and ~130 million of them voted.  This represents about 75% - a fairly high number given modern presidential elections.

Second, the DOI does not NEED “force of law”; it is an IDEA, it represents a PRINCIPLE - thus it has the force of something much greater than law.  As “V” says when Creedy asks why V isn’t dead after being shot with dozens of bullets, “Behind this mask is an idea - and ideas are bullterproof.”

Aznemesis:

Brava!

RdV:

Like so many people, you proceed from false premise: Obama NEVER represented the “progressive” movement.  Nor did he claim to.  In fact, with few exceptions, his positions on most issues, both domestic and foreign, were virtually identical to Hillary’s for most of the primary race.  And for the umpteenth time, just because many of Obama’s choices are ex-Clintonites does not mean that (i) they have not learned from past mistakes, and (ii) they are any less obligated to enforce the PRESIDENT’S agenda and NOT their own.

As for Hillary, she was hardly one of the “loudest hawks” on Iraq.  Even her vote in favor of the Iraq War Resolution was difficult for her, as she made clear in her speech to the Senate (have you ever even read it?).  And WHATEVER she did in the past, her position during the campaign was, from the very beginning, to end the war.  In fact, it was SHE who came up with both the “13-month” timeline for withdrawal and the removal of “two brigades per month” - both of which Obama stole from her later in the campaign.  So get your facts straight.

As for Kucinich, it is BECAUSE a SoS is the MOST obligated to enforce the president’s agenda that Kucinich is not only the absolutely WRONG choice (since he and Obama agree on almost nothing), but would not accept the position if offered.

Peace.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 21, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Outraged:
‘LOL….From my perspective, you’ve proved my point.  While I understand that in a historical sense these terms have validity.  But in modern politics, they don’t….. other than to fractionalize the American People, and thereby marginalize their best interests, which was my original point.’

The point of analytical terms is to “fractionize” something—to break it down into its components and see how the components relate to one another (or not).  That is a way of discovering what one’s interests are and how to advance them.

Americans in general don’t seem to care for political analysis very much, though, so it can’t be doing much to fragment them.  Actually, I would say American politics is astonishingly coherent and cooperative given the divergency of interests and opinions it encompasses.  All too coherent, I think—look at the recent grand Bailout swindle.

Report this

By RdV, November 21, 2008 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

To all those who say that he can only chose experience from within the pool of Clintonistas:


Obama Throws No Bones to Progressive Base
By Matthew Rothschild, November 19, 2008

When is Obama going to appoint someone who reflects the progressive base that brought him to the White House?

He won the crucial Iowa caucuses on the strength of his anti-Iraq War stance, and many progressive peace and justice activists worked hard for him against John McCain.

So why in the world is he choosing Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State when she was one of the loudest hawks on Iraq and threatened to obliterate 75 million Iranians?

And it’s not just Hillary.

Obama’s OMB pick, Peter Orzag, is a Clintonite disciple of Robert Rubin.

Obama’s AG pick, Eric Holder, is a Clintonite who represented Chiquita Bananas.

And Larry Summers’s name is still being bandied about for Treasury, even though Summers, while Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, forced the deregulation of our financial markets and imposed disaster capitalism on Russia.

Worse still, heading Obama’s transition team on intelligence matters are two former deputies to George Tenet, of all people. (See Amy Goodman’s great story about this on Democracy Now!)

Look, there are a lot of talented progressives who could be in an Obama cabinet.

Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize-winner in economics and a critic of corporate globalization. He should be Treasury Secretary.

Senator Russ Feingold is a champion of civil liberties. He should be Attorney General.

Robert Greenstein is head of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He would make a much better OMB director.

Arlene Holt Baker, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, would be a tremendous Secretary of Labor.

And if Obama really wanted change, if he really wanted to honor progressives who backed him early on and then did the grunt work against McCain, he’d nominate Dennis Kucinich as Secretary of State.

That sure would indicate a welcome departure from empire as usual.

But at this point, progressives are getting absolutely nothing from Obama.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 21, 2008 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

It is not merely the electoral system that is corrupt, oppressive and obsolete, it is the American ideology that justifies and legitimates the electoral system.  An essential part of elections is the mass media and money.  But political science has tended to analyze the electoral isolated from the ruling class that controls the mass media and money, and the nominations for who gets effectively mandated as a candidate. Without money or media, for example, Sheehan got only 17% of the vote against Pelosi in a liberal San Francisco district.

The only way the US can possibly be conceived as a Democracy is by restricting theory and attention to electoral process itself as seprated from the money economy and the truth process.  With the historical centralization of the mass media into a few networks, and the enormous increase in class inequality, the US has become increasingly undemocratic in actual fact while the visible electoral institutions have not changed.

In the same way that Rome became an Empire and the Emperor a military dictator while keeping the Senate and other offices intact, devoid of their previous power.  The underlying centralization of ruling class power has made real democracy a travesty, from its previous historical position of being a semi-fraud.

The Bushite political counterrevolution took place as a consequence of these historical tendencies, which still exist.  The previous bourgeois American pseudo-democarcy is dead.  The historical function of Obiden is consolidate the Bushite counterrevolution, institutionalizing a postmodern police state.

This institutionalizes military imperialism, especially Zionism, and neoliberalism, the predatory capitalism unrestrained by governemental or legal restrictions. Or by elections.

The question then is how to combat the military imperialism and neoliberalism, both of which are advocated by Zionists like Inherit, with the usual Fox News obfuscation.  One necessity, I contend, is a development of an ideology that includes a useful theory of power that focuses on the underlying power resources of money, truth and violence. 

Such a theory will subvert the power delusions that the Educated classes impose on the population to legitimate their power.  Such as those advocated by Inherit.  All power structures delude the people they rule, conceptually and emotionally derange our consciousness, distract us from our crucial power interests with learned and popular trivia, and ideologically repress the simple holistic truth about people and power.

When power systems decay historically, as the US power system, and more generally Western power systems are doing, this delusion becomes more frantic and obsessive, and censorship increases.  Slezoids in the media attack any idea which threatens power, in order to intimidate the population, as Inherit and the imperialist Democrats do, following the Gops.

Under these conditions, how can a left opposition arise in the US to resist imperialism and neoliberalism, both fostered by Zionism. This is the central political question that must be solved while Obiden carries out locked in Bushite policies in the coming period.

Report this

By Getreal, November 21, 2008 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

I usually like Pfaff and find him informed and reasonable. This one, not so much. The Secretary of State doesn’t decide policy, the president does. She’ll be expected to do whatever it takes to communicate that effectively.

What was he expected to do, get a bunch of rookies who would take 2 years to learn the ropes. He’s made clear what policy directions he’s going into and he won a clear mandate, so he can do what he wants…basically. Getting Hillary in there is a great idea. She’s an indefatigable worker, and she loves attention and desperately wants a ‘legacy’ job; she has it, and she’s going to bust her butt to do well.

Let’s take that Israeli/Palestinian situation. Expect Obama to lean on Israel way more than Bush, and to push hard for conciliation all around and much less hard-ball with Hamas, etc. Her job will be to go out there and establish good working relations with everybody and try to move the yardage markers up the field in the right direction. Expect her to work hard at it and have WAAAAAY more success than that simpleton Condiliesalot. And she’s got Bill who has great relationships with everybody in the world, and that can only help. The main job of the Sec of State is to find a way to bring people on-side once the president decides on policy. She’s a great choice.

Leaving her hanging in the breeze as junior Senator would have been a tragic waste of ability and experience… and a source of problems from her and Bill and their supporters.

Great move. Just watch.

Report this

By aznemesis, November 21, 2008 at 3:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HRC-bashing is still in full force when it comes to the mythology of Barack Obama, I see.  So, we have the following comment:  “She could never have made the speech Obama made on race.”  Could Obama have made the speech she did about how women’s rights are so often left out of “human” rights?  Seems that the “left” doesn’t really care.  Sexism is still fine among our “progressive” friends.  After all, where is the outrage over the inclusion of the sexist Larry Summers on Obama’s transition committee (not to mention the talk of him becoming Sec. of Treasury)?  If HRC had won and included on her committee someone who declared Blacks genetically inferior, would there have been outrage?  I suspect there would have been.  Yet, Summers’ comments on the genetic inferiority of women are fine as far as the agent of “change” is concerned.  They are also fine as far as “progressives” go.  I have certainly not seen any massive outrage over Summers misogynistic views, or questions about Obama’s acceptance of someone who would hold them. 

That’s why I have become more and more disenchanted with so-called “progressive” media.  That’s why I did NOT vote for Obama.  Why would I, when there was an actual progressive running for President?  And, if it was that important, she was even Black…

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 21, 2008 at 2:10 am Link to this comment

Re: ITW

Your comment: “So, if 10 or 20 Truthdiggers howl “But it’s not with MY consent!!!!” then this is clearly the case where the majority rules.  When it comes to selecting a system of government, the majority rules.

So there is no violation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which spoke SO eloquently to the problem of governance without the consent of the governed.  We HAVE consented to be governed as we have chosen.”

No…no…no, you are taking this all wrong.  Especially with this “But it’s not with MY consent!!!!” rhetoric.  That’s NOT the point.  To claim that that ALL CANDIDATES had a fair shake is BS and you know it.  Therefore to claim that THIS is what the MAJORITY wanted is also garbage.

WE HAD THE CHOICES OF ONLY THOSE OFFERED TO US BY THE POWER INTERESTS.

Therefore your claim, “We HAVE consented to be governed as we have chosen, is false.  What we had is a choice between “who they wanted” and “who they wanted” via propaganda extraordinaire.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 21, 2008 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

Re: Anarcissie

Your comment: “In the case of modern politics, though, things can get pretty mixed.  For example, preference for freedom and equality should put interest in the right to keep and bear arms on the Left, not the Right.  The old Soviet Communist Party should have been considered rightist; it was highly authoritarian.  Welfare is ambiguous: it gives the poor more strategic space in their struggles with the rich, but subjects them to an almost equally authoritarian government bureaucracy.  Likewise, Single Payer medical insurance does not appear to propose much more than moving one’s account from one impervious bureaucracy to another.  War is the essence of rightist politics, but in the United States in most of the 20th century it was the relatively leftist liberals who were most likely to get involved in wars.  I can understand impatience with this apparent mish-mash of conflicting impulses.  Nevertheless, I think the concepts and terms can be useful.

LOL….From my perspective, you’ve proved my point.  While I understand that in a historical sense these terms have validity.  But in modern politics, they don’t….. other than to fractionalize the American People, and thereby marginalize their best interests, which was my original point.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Maani, November 20 at 8:53 pm #

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

For those who have forgotten…
*********************************************

I, for one, have forgotten nothing. Over 130 million Americans cast their vote on Nov 4th, out of about 210 million eligible—and their NOT voting was their choice, too.

The 210,000,000 voters in this nation spoke very eloquently on that day: They continued that very consent of the governed and chose new leaders.

So, if 10 or 20 Truthdiggers howl “But it’s not with MY consent!!!!” then this is clearly the case where the majority rules.  When it comes to selecting a system of government, the majority rules.

So there is no violation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which spoke SO eloquently to the problem of governance without the consent of the governed.  We HAVE consented to be governed as we have chosen.

(Oh, and BTW, Maaani: The Declaration of Independence has NO force of Law.  None. Nada. Gornischt. Rien. Zippo.—LEST YOU FORGET! )

Report this

By Maani, November 20, 2008 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

For those who have forgotten…

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 20 at 6:55 pm #

I confess I have a soft spot for you, Inherit, you’re such a dodo and you’re so sincere!  Your assertion that revolutions only occor when living conditions are intolerable and people have to revolt or die is pure, vintage Windyism.  Some things you know more about than I do, such as the gossip about past presidents, part of your conception of history, but not, Inherit, about revolutions.

Let me give you an example of a revolution where conditions were NOT intolerable and the people were not dying.  The American revolution.  The American revolution was conducted essentially for business reasons.  It was what we now call a national liberation revolution.  There have been many others.

As Anarcissie said, I was not calling for violent revolution, but asserting that the American electoral system is largely corrupt,ineffective and obsolete. Other means, such as demonstrations, unions, cooperatives, and other political actions must be found to mobilize the population effectively.

I think that Gore Vidal’s suggestion that the Constitution be modified under article five might deserve a shot, if only to exhaust all political possibilities.  Anarcissie’s idea of forming coops is another avenue that has not been generally tried.

I wish the American people had your need and courage to express themselves, Inherit, we would be living in a different world.  It just shows that they serve also who sit and rant.  Of course you do it so those anti-Semites in office won’t raise your taxes, but if everyone did it, a differnet truth consensus would form.  And that is what we nned to unite the people against power.
*********************************************

Wriggle and squirm, waffle and obfuscate, you can’t get out of the hole you are in, so like the fanatical fool you are, you keep digging yourself in deeper.

Re-read my words and remember: The American Revolution was PRECISELY because the Americans did not have a say in their government.  They were Englishmen who could not vote for their Parliament, yet were subjected to taxation without a say.  That DOES fit in my model, you reductionist! (That means ignoring inconvenient facts).

Do I think the Electoral College is obsolete? Sure! Who doesn’t but a few atavists? In today’s NY Times there was a suggestion to get around the fact that the smallest states will not vote for the obvious fairness of a popular vote: The larger state could independently enact legislation that THEIR electoral votes MUST go the winner of the national popular vote.

But I think you mean that the hoi-poloi cannot be trusted to vote for their leaders—that’s what you mean by “broken”.  You’ve insisted on it numerous times.  But you don’t want to commit to the only way to do that: Force, violent revolution and coup-d’etat.  So you opt for vague and airy “somehow…..”  There is no “somehow”!  Either people can choose their leaders or they cannot.

Why are you SO afraid of that?  Because they picked Nixon twice, Reagan twice and the Gingrich Revolution in 1994, then RE-elected Bush in 2004?

Sorry, but if you want to live in a FREE society, that’s the risk you have to take.  Because as soon as you take that away, the benevolent rulers become the robbing, raping, murdering thugs.

Yeah, I know a lot of gossip about past Presidents. So? It’s all for fun, but not REAL history.  I also am familiar with the true meat of it as well.  You have shown yourself to be nothing but a dogmatic follower of Marxist pseudo-scholars who taint everything they do with unprovable pre-assumptions.

Report this

By DHFabian, November 20, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

A rule of thumb that has proved surprisingly consistent for the past 25-30 years: If a candidate is indifferent toward America’s poor—not only the “working poor”, who were very popular in this last campaign, but the homeless and destitute as well—they will prove to be conservative on most issues. Obama presented no plans for the poor beyond the usual trickle-down theories…grow the economy, there will be more jobs, etc. All we have to do is first help our unfortunate wealthy—the financial industry, the auto industry, etc.  As they once again prosper, they will create a mass of “family supporting jobs” (but don’t mention that these jobs will be in Pakistan, India, Korea, anywhere but in the US).

We aren’t going to see a progressive president because campaigns are financed by the wealthy/corporations. The only way one can become a viable candidate is to “court” the wealthy, and base agendas on the interests of the rich. Demand campaign finance reform? Check your US history books, folks.  People have been demanding such reforms for decades.

As long as Americans won’t organize and DEMAND a decision-making role in this country, we’ll have to settle for whatever crumbs fall our way.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 20, 2008 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

I confess I have a soft spot for you, Inherit, you’re such a dodo and you’re so sincere!  Your assertion that revolutions only occor when living conditions are intolerable and people have to revolt or die is pure, vintage Windyism.  Some things you know more about than I do, such as the gossip about past presidents, part of your conception of history, but not, Inherit,  about revolutions.

Let me give you an example of a revolution where conditions were NOT intolerable and the people were not dying.  The American revolution.  The American revolution was conducted essentially for business reasons.  It was what we now call a national liberation revolution.  There have been many others.

As Anarcissie said, I was not calling for violent revolution, but asserting that the American electoral system is largely corrupt,ineffective and obsolete. Other means, such as demonstrations, unions, cooperatives, and other political actions must be found to mobilize the population effectively. 

I think that Gore Vidal’s suggestion that the Constitution be modified under article five might deserve a shot, if only to exhaust all political possibilities.  Anarcissie’s idea of forming coops is another avenue that has not been generally tried.

I wish the American people had your need and courage to express themselves, Inherit, we would be living in a different world.  It just shows that they serve also who sit and rant.  Of course you do it so those anti-Semites in office won’t raise your taxes, but if everyone did it, a differnet truth consensus would form.  And that is what we nned to unite the people against power.

Report this

By JakesTake, November 20, 2008 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

I meant to write a bill that guarantees healhcare for all!

Report this

By JakesTake, November 20, 2008 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

Of course we’ll see significant changes with an Obama administration. When we watch Obama sign a bill surrounded by Tom Dashle, Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, it will not matter that they’ve been around awhile. Leadership is key. “Washington insider” is a political campaign term. After the election, experience counts. A cabinet member is led by his/her president. Look at the damage the Bush administration has done - often cabinet members were powerless to effect policy. Obama has as much power to help heal this country. Of course, we matter too. Hold our representatives accountable. Organize. Be part of the change.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, November 20 at 3:15 pm #

  Inherit The Wind:
  ‘OK, now you are calling for violent revolution….’

No, he isn’t.  Not in the passage you quoted, anyway.
***************************************************

So..then he’s calling for a coup d’etat?

Because you just ran out of choices. If the people cannot be ALLOWED to vote (which is the only logical inference) then the government can only be changed by a violent revolution or a coup d’etat—both of which are non-legal means of change.

And, unless people CANNOT legitimately vote for their leaders, a forced change by coup or revolution is illegal and an evil thing.

Pinochet decided, like you and Folk, that the will of the people in Chile wasn’t valid.  So he engineered a violent coup—which was terrible for Chile.

I can and will argue that overturning the government of a people who can vote to change their leaders (as we have done) can NEVER be a good thing, and can and will always result in violence.

SO, I stand by my contention that by claiming that HE knows the “will of the people” better than the voters that Folk IS advocating a non-legal change of government—and that MUST be violent and cannot be otherwise.  We’ve seen Bush ineffectually try to overturn the clear will of the people—and, it HAS proven disastrous.  Do you think because Folk thinks his cause is right he’ll do any better?

I know he won’t.

I don’t argue that Bush isn’t a fascist.  He is.  He has tried to undermine the will of the people.  But on Nov 4th we came roaring back, loudly, and now he’s cowed and will (I hope) go quietly and try to maintain some dignity while he goes.

And you know damn well Folk is advocating mob violence—he cites it as being a “good thing” in China.

I see no reason to change my interpretation that Folk is advocating violent revolution.  Or my judgment that that would be as bad as the fascist revolution Bush failed to bring about.

Report this

By Xntrk, November 20, 2008 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘Inherit The Wind’ says:  OK, now you are calling for violent revolution because you don’t think people have the right to choose for themselves…“conditions are such that it can’t be changed by elections.”

Please site every society that abandoned Democracy via violent revolution and ended up with something better.  Name just one! <<

Boy, now I am confused. You are reaming Folktruther for advocating a ‘violent’ revolution [which he did not] while claiming we are a ‘Democracy’

At best I think we’d be called a Republic, yet even that seems a bit optimistic for a system that requires millions of votes to elect a person to the Senate, or even the House in more populated states. That’s about like claiming fleas are Democratic when they gang up on some poor dog who cannot defend himself…

As for a ‘violent revolution’, which may or may not be a good idea [depends on who wins], that is not the only way to bring about change, or even a change in government. There are referendums and initiatives that wield tremendous power in many states. A demagogue can use them quite effectively without violence. Section 8 [oops, that may be referring to crazies] won in California without violence, and certainly changed the political landscape.

Perhaps the violence is all in your mind, just as the “Change we can believe in”, seems to reside solely inside Obama’s head…

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
‘OK, now you are calling for violent revolution….’

No, he isn’t.  Not in the passage you quoted, anyway.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 20 at 1:32 pm #

The necessary change will never happen through elections, BBoy.  Elections are conservatizing institutions manipulated by power struture money and the mass media.  In China there were 75,000 mass mobilizations last year which the Chinese power system uses to reform the lower province and other officials.  Sometimes they find an upper offical corrupt and shoot them, a wonderful example for us all.

The American electoral system is biased toward the richer population, corrupt and obsolete.  And power conditions are such that it can’t be changed by elections.  We have to develop new tactics and strategies for the population, and fundamenatally broaden our human values.  This is an historical undertaking, in which elections play a minor role.
*********************************************

OK, now you are calling for violent revolution because you don’t think people have the right to choose for themselves…“conditions are such that it can’t be changed by elections.”

Please site every society that abandoned Democracy via violent revolution and ended up with something better.  Name just one!

Every SUCCESSFUL violent revolution (and even many unsuccessful ones) was against a true tyranny that through violent intimidation shut the people up.  Furthermore, those revolutions INEVITABLY were against living conditions that were intolerable and caused the citizenry to die.

Even the American industrial union movement happened because the combination of intolerable conditions and violent intimidation forced workers to stick together to survive.  Survive as in not die. Survive as in preventing their families from dying.

But we still have a voice, and that voice was overwhelming on November 4th.

YOU didn’t like the result—but a couple of hundred million did—and still do. 

I guess they aren’t listening to Folk’s declaration that they all hate Obama.  Asserting something’s true doesn’t make it true.  You have to prove it, Folk, and you can’t, no matter how much you quote of Marx and Marxist thinkers.  The fact remains, AS I HAVE DEMONSTRATED, that today, November 20th, Americans are HAPPIER with Obama than they were yesterday, November 19.  And yesterday they were happier with him than they were on November 18th.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

herbalremedy, November 20 at 1:53 pm #

Inherit the Wind

Your comment “ “Lichen”—a rather disgusting, primitive plant that renders rocks smell and slimy” really decimates any shred of your credibility, although many of your other comments have already reduced that to about zilch.

To start, this statement is an ad hominen and personal attack.  Who would want even want to read any more comments from someone who resorts to such completely desperate tactics?  Perhaps Rupert Murdoch needs a new columnist.

Furthermore, your statement about lichen - any lichen - is factually incorrect, and you should refrain from submitting clearly fraudulent statements.  Lichens are not plants, but symbiotic organisms comprised of a fungus and an alga.  There’s nothing disgusting or primitive about them, but this is a more apt description of humans who label anything in the natural world as such, as if humans were such pristine organisms!  Lichens do not render rocks “smell [sic] and slimy” but they are well-known as indicators of good air quality, and I’d guess that Lichen, as well as myself and other readers, can detect a distinctly noxious composition to the quality that passes for whatever wind you’ve inherited.  Inherit the wind, indeed, you’re more likely blowing smoke up your own ass!
************************************************

Let me guess: You are perfectly comfortable with all of the BS Lichen put out and find my challenging it to be a threat to your little pre-defined world you share with him and Folktruther. So all the CRAP Lichen spewed at me, accusing me (without evidence) of being a Fox News dittohead you have no problem with, right?

As for being discredited: The fact that you make NO condemnation of Lichen’s flat-out obvious falsehoods, but only my admittingly CUTTING response, shows you to be nothing but another biased me-too-er.  I am not insulted by your words.  They are unpleasant yes, but I have a thick skin.  But since you have instantly, with a 0-60 speed a Corvette would envy, discredited your own reasoning ability, I give it no stock.

Quite frankly, in this context, I don’t give a rat’s posterior that a lichen is a fungus and an alga combined. You might as well argue that a skunk doesn’t stink. Who Cares?  Save it for the Animal World channel.

Report this

By herbalremedy, November 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind

Your comment ”  “Lichen”—a rather disgusting, primitive plant that renders rocks smell and slimy” really decimates any shred of your credibility, although many of your other comments have already reduced that to about zilch. 

To start, this statement is an ad hominen and personal attack.  Who would want even want to read any more comments from someone who resorts to such completely desperate tactics?  Perhaps Rupert Murdoch needs a new columnist.

Furthermore, your statement about lichen - any lichen - is factually incorrect, and you should refrain from submitting clearly fraudulent statements.  Lichens are not plants, but symbiotic organisms comprised of a fungus and an alga.  There’s nothing disgusting or primitive about them, but this is a more apt description of humans who label anything in the natural world as such, as if humans were such pristine organisms!  Lichens do not render rocks “smell [sic]  and slimy” but they are well-known as indicators of good air quality, and I’d guess that Lichen, as well as myself and other readers, can detect a distinctly noxious composition to the quality that passes for whatever wind you’ve inherited.  Inherit the wind, indeed, you’re more likely blowing smoke up your own ass!

Report this

By herbalremedy, November 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

I’m relatively new to reading truthdig and the comments posted here, and have generally done so for amusement.  I can’t address all the faulty reasoning I’ve seen here, but the attacks on those who question Obama’s intentions strike me as excellent examples of blind nationalism.  The charges of racism are unsubstantiated: I think Obama is a tool of the same imperialists who’ve destroyed much of what was formerly decent about this country.  Go ahead, call me a racist too, even though I voted for McKinney-Clemente.  I agree with those who criticize Obama for his poor choices for his Cabinet and staff appointments.  Does the experience touted as “necessary” really need to come from well-known imperialists and warmongers, when in Congress alone there are so many deserving and talented leaders (yes, in spite of the legislature’s generally unacceptable voting record, a few dozen members of Congress actually have continually stood up for the people of this nation instead of multi-national corporations and the bloated military pork-stuffers)?  You can also continue to malign Ralph Nader (who never lost anyone’s election other than his own, and you cannot prove otherwise), but he’s done more than any American political leader, ever, to improve life for Americans (auto safety, water, air, and other environmental standards, industrial safety, etc.).  If you think Nader’s a “leftist,” then you must be a complete misanthrope.

I think the left-right, etc., monikers and labels are a distraction: my positions on many issues certainly don’t fit into either camp, nor are they necessarily “moderate” (such as dismantling the entire world capitalistic state).  As for all the rhetoric about supporting the “majority,” that is distinctly not what democracy is about, and those who attack others for dissenting, you’re on very shaky ground - again, attacking those who dissent is dangerously close to totalitarian-state type of thinking.  Perhaps you have watched too much Fux News, where attacking dissent is a national pastime.

Obama and his ill-gotten staff have an enormous amount of faith to restore, not only in a government that’s betrayed people for over 2 centuries, but in an administration that has already laid a foundation of recycled political trash.  He’s only making his job more difficult by the day.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

The necessary change will never happen through elections, BBoy.  Elections are conservatizing institutions manipulated by power struture money and the mass media.  In China there were 75,000 mass mobilizations last year which the Chinese power system uses to reform the lower province and other officials.  Sometimes they find an upper offical corrupt and shoot them, a wonderful example for us all.

The American electoral system is biased toward the richer population, corrupt and obsolete.  And power conditions are such that it can’t be changed by elections.  We have to develop new tactics and strategies for the population, and fundamenatally broaden our human values.  This is an historical undertaking, in which elections play a minor role.

Report this

By Bboy57, November 20, 2008 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

ITW:

Folker is right on when he explains that the American Imperialist political agenda by both parties continues, despite the exasperation by many, many Americans AND disheartened military personell when they finally see through the patriotism mumbo jumbo. Both parties are complicit and the media-koolaid brainwahed electorate just keeps up the charade.

Nothing will CHANGE until a viable independant candidate can bridge the gulf that exists now between the corporate political establishment and the electorate.

But that would be REAL CHANGE in AMERICA…and that’s not happening, because of Joe/Jane the voter/ sucker!

Report this

By Not fooled, November 20, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Quit overanalyzing and being so overly critical - the change will be obvious and blatant - Obama’s change will be represented in competence in leadership and governance.  After 8 years of bush and his crony selections the difference will be astounding.  If bringing competence back requires Clinton retreads, then so be it.  It’s funny, I never saw this type of complaint over bush selections and many of them were horrendous.  Lay off the double standards.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Jesse, November 20 at 6:40 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Inherit The Wind,

I cannot say that I agree with your synopsis. I am a Christian and it is not my calling to save your immortal soul. You can make your own decisions based on the info and if you disagree, that is your own free will.

I do not believe this is a Christian country. Perhaps there were a few founding fathers that were believers but most came here for two reasons – freedom and profit.

Christians realize things are going to get much worse. I am not looking for anyone to fix anything because I know it is beyond their control.

There are many different types of Christians – it is foolish to lump everyone into one group. Many hold different views and perspectives and approach the interpretation of scriptures differently. For example, I study from a pre-millennium perspective. The infamous “Bible Answer Guy” is a millenniumist. I disagree with nearly everything he says as I believe his doctrine to be skewed. Catholisism is a self contradiction and their doctrine violates many Christian tenants. Mormons and Jehovas Witness re-wrote the “bible” creating their own version to suit their needs- I don’t agree with anything they say either and neither do most Christians.

Far too many people have little or no understanding of the nuances of “Christianity” let alone a basic understanding of the scriptures. They try to attach a single label to represent all due to their ignorance of the subject. I see this frequently on tv shows such as National Geographic and History Channel. They take a very skewed approach to communicating what “Christians” believe. Most of the time, it is biased and incorrect.

So best of luck to you. I hope what you have works for you and you can learn to be more tolerant of others.
********************************************

Jesse:
Did you miss the key phrases, like “religious right”
and “Religious ultra-ists”?  Unless you identify with the Pat Robertson/Hagee/Falwell radical reactionary Christians, I wasn’t talking about you and your faith.  Now I’m Agnostic and personally find religions to cause more trouble than they prevent, but that doesn’t mean I condemn all Christians.

But the Robertson types, and the Catholic bishops who preach that you are committing a mortal sin if you vote for a pro-choice politician, and the Likudists and Radical Muslims ARE a blight on humanity. And I’ll stand by that.

It’s amazing that one religion (Christian Protestantism) can produce a Martin Luther King and a Sarah Palin.  It’s not the MLKs I fear, it’s the Palins.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

SNAFU: Situation Normal, All Folk’d Up.

As usual, Folk, you are wrong.  Your prediction and analysis is based on warm, fuzzy fantasy.  Here’s a dose of cold reality:  According to the rolling Gallup Polls, Americans’ view of the Democratic Party and particularly President-Elect Obama keeps getting stronger not weaker as you claim. Yet, at the same time, Americans’ view of the GOP continues to sink.

So the clear inference from the FACTS is that Americans are very, very happy with President-Elect Obama, are seeing more and more what incompetent crooks the GOP are, and are hopeful about the future.

Link? Right here.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/112015/GOP-Takes-Another-Image-Hit-PostElection.aspx

I’m sure you’ll come up with some manure-laden explanation as to why you and the 100 or so wild-eyed ultra-leftwing “progressives” (Progressive—there’s a laugh) represent the “real America” rather than the views of a couple hundred millions.  Sarah Palin should take lessons!

As I said: Wrong as usual. Documentably wrong.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 20, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

As Obama goes to the right, RdV, the population will go to the left.  This will split the imperialist and Zionist Dems, like Inherit,  from the anti-imperialist Dems and progressives.  But as yet there is no spelled out ideology that can unite the anti-imperialist Dems.  And without such a leadership consensus, the population cannnot be united around its own interests.

As Zionist and imperialist Dems go to the right, their views will increasingly sound like Fox News.  Gibberish and deceit intended to demonize the left and divert the population from a realistic appeciation of the power process.  The mainstrream corporate consensus will increasingly become a militarized and police concensus, jusified by the need to maintain the Security of Freedom and Democracy.

I suggest, therefore, that the first distinction that needs to be imparted to the American people is the opposition of people to power.  The interests of the vast majority of people are increasingly divorced historically from the American power structure, the ruling class and their professional agents.

Especially as the American power structure is largly pursuing the policy of Likud Zionism rather than those of US power. 

One of the historical problems here is that the US mainstream consensus has been a highly racist one which has helped the ruling class to unite the population across class boundaries.  And it is supported by the suppositions of religious ideology, as is Zionism.  However the gutter racism of the past has been transmuted into bourgeois racism with the election of Obama, so this might be enough of a decrease to allow mass progressive organization.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 20, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Outraged:
‘So….I’m curious… What are the top five issues which makes someone “leftist”?

All this leftist rightist bullshit is just THAT, bullshit. ....’

Obviously, it depends on how one uses the word (and other similar words).  If we go back to the pre-Revolutionary French parlement, the friends of the King sat on the right, and the opposition sat on the left.  The right side is the traditional place of honor in a military formation.  By extension, then, (synecdoche!) the political Right represented order, power, authority, the military virtues, hierarchical status, and private wealth, and the Left their opposites or complements: peace, freedom and equality.  Insofar as one can analyze politics and culture into one impulse or tendency or the other, one can speak reasonably about “Left” and “Right”,  that is, the terms are not bullshit.

In the case of modern politics, though, things can get pretty mixed.  For example, preference for freedom and equality should put interest in the right to keep and bear arms on the Left, not the Right.  The old Soviet Communist Party should have been considered rightist; it was highly authoritarian.  Welfare is ambiguous: it gives the poor more strategic space in their struggles with the rich, but subjects them to an almost equally authoritarian government bureaucracy.  Likewise, Single Payer medical insurance does not appear to propose much more than moving one’s account from one impervious bureaucracy to another.  War is the essence of rightist politics, but in the United States in most of the 20th century it was the relatively leftist liberals who were most likely to get involved in wars.  I can understand impatience with this apparent mish-mash of conflicting impulses.  Nevertheless, I think the concepts and terms can be useful.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

RdV, November 20 at 5:09 am #

...
Tell you what possible scenario will emerge: Obama will continue to erode his standing with the grassroots by continuing on a centrist path, the Clintons will throw elbows to keep the focus on themselves and rally their failed policies as well as raising a united front on the Right and Sarah Palin will be the ultimate winner.
...

**********************************************

Only among Truthdigger ultra-leftists and Naderites on the Left, and the Neocons, nutty religious and racists on the Right, will Obama “erode his standing”.  Where do you get this junk?  Pfaff? He wrote Obama off as a failure while Hillary Clinton was still in real competition for the nomination.  Pfaff has been proven wrong about Obama at every step of the way.

MOST Americans, both Centrist GOP and Democrat WELCOME Obama’s willingness to rely on the experience of the last SUCCESSFUL Presidency in everything from Foreign Relations, to the ecology.  His support keeps growing everyday.  Only on the fringes is the rhetoric getting more and more furious as he ignores both the extreme Right and extreme Left—as he should.

The idea that this talented, intellectually curious law professor, with an undergrad background in international relations is a “know-nothing” is not just absurd, it’s truly bizarre.  He is the Non-Bush by every measure—including that driving intellectual curiousity—one thing Bush NEVER had in his life.  He seeks divergent opinons.  Bush never did. He wants people who have ideas but have been legislators, not administrators side by side with experienced administrators. Some are Washington insiders, some, like Janet Napolitano, are practical administrators outside of Washington. He’s not rushing his picks, either.

It’s these truly stupid and thoughtless assertions (because they are NOT based on fact or sound reasoning) that I find irritating.  Sure, you are entitled to your opinion, and even to express it.  But AT LEAST try to support it!

Report this

By Jesse, November 20, 2008 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Inherit The Wind,

I cannot say that I agree with your synopsis. I am a Christian and it is not my calling to save your immortal soul. You can make your own decisions based on the info and if you disagree, that is your own free will.

I do not believe this is a Christian country. Perhaps there were a few founding fathers that were believers but most came here for two reasons – freedom and profit.

Christians realize things are going to get much worse. I am not looking for anyone to fix anything because I know it is beyond their control.

There are many different types of Christians – it is foolish to lump everyone into one group. Many hold different views and perspectives and approach the interpretation of scriptures differently. For example, I study from a pre-millennium perspective. The infamous “Bible Answer Guy” is a millenniumist. I disagree with nearly everything he says as I believe his doctrine to be skewed. Catholisism is a self contradiction and their doctrine violates many Christian tenants. Mormons and Jehovas Witness re-wrote the “bible” creating their own version to suit their needs- I don’t agree with anything they say either and neither do most Christians.

Far too many people have little or no understanding of the nuances of “Christianity” let alone a basic understanding of the scriptures. They try to attach a single label to represent all due to their ignorance of the subject. I see this frequently on tv shows such as National Geographic and History Channel. They take a very skewed approach to communicating what “Christians” believe. Most of the time, it is biased and incorrect.

So best of luck to you. I hope what you have works for you and you can learn to be more tolerant of others.

Report this

By Alejandro, November 20, 2008 at 7:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m pretty disappointed and feel that once again the American people have been hornswalgaled by a silver tongue politician. Politicos craft their campaigns very carefully to disgiuse their true allegiance, which is to the DNC or RNC. I believe we have out grown the Monolith that is Washington, D.C. The solution probably lies in a decentralised form of Government. Perhaps a Parliametary system.

Report this

By RdV, November 20, 2008 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

Already the Republicans are smacking their lips in anticipation of Obama appointing an administration of Clinton-era retreads. There is NOTHING that turns out the Republican base more than the Clinton show and there is nothing that turns off the Democratic base, desperate for all the promises of change, than the Clinton brand that the Democratic party can’t seem to move beyond. Despite all their power plays and calculation, their domination of news cycles—the Clintons are has-beens and if their only justification for continuing to dominate is their “experience, well then, Obama himself is vastly unqualified, isn’t he?
  Tell you what possible scenario will emerge: Obama will continue to erode his standing with the grassroots by continuing on a centrist path, the Clintons will throw elbows to keep the focus on themselves and rally their failed policies as well as raising a united front on the Right and Sarah Palin will be the ultimate winner.
  All the other cheerleading about “keep your enemies close” and “team of rivals ain’t nothing but a bait and switch to cover up business as usual with the usual suspects.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Outraged, November 19 at 8:33 pm #

So….I’m curious… What are the top five issues which makes someone “leftist”?

All this leftist rightist bullshit is just THAT, bullshit.

It’s just easier to see people as asses and non-asses.  Asses, will only enrich themselves and non-asses are willing to work to solve problems IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF EVERYONE.
*******************************

This definition makes, as non-asses, many of the followers of the religious right.  They want to solve problems in the best interests of everyone—as THEY see it.  They want to save our immortal souls.  They believe the USA is a Christian nation and can’t be healed until it’s brought back to being Christian, with the New Testament as the ultimate law.

Religious ultra-ists in the Christian, Moslem and Jewish religions ALL think this way—that THEY will make the world better for everyone and save our souls if they can attain absolute power and dictate to the world and it will be for our own good.

They are still asses.

Report this

By stonecutter, November 20, 2008 at 4:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To be crude for a moment, much, but not all, of what I read on this thread is an intellectual “circle jerk”.  Those here that advocate for patience, until Obama is actually in the Oval Office, make sense. The rest of you have your hidden agendas showing through your zippers.

It’s the Policies, Stupid!  Bringing in Clinton re-treads may make sense in some areas, and appear wrong-headed in others, but Obama needs experienced hands to make change, if in fact that’s what he plans to do. Eric Holder may seem lackluster as AG, but he knows the ropes cold and can hit the ground running. This reliance on people who know the ropes seems the common thread in Obama’s choices so far.

The country is drowning in a sea of shit. Read Chris Hedges latest column on Truthdig. It should scare the crap out of any reasonable secular humanist. The Sarah Palin crowd isn’t worried…they’re still counting on The Rapture to save them.  The rest of us have to survive in the real world. If Obama can begin to restore some confidence in a “change” of direction for the country, economically first and in foreign policy later, he’ll be an improvement over Bush by an order of magnitude unseen since FDR. He’s not a water-walker, is he? Just a very smart guy with the world on his back right now.

We just elected the guy. He deserves the benefit of our collective doubt. If he brings in Alberto Gonzalez as White House Counsel, then you can start worrying.

Report this

By elianita55, November 20, 2008 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

This piece gives interesting insight into the impact Obama’s election will have on US-Europe relations.

Europe feels a deep need to rebuild bridges with the United States after eight years of American foreign policy that has essentially alienated Europe with its condescension for Europe’s stances on international issues. Western Europeans have felt marginalized by the Bush administration and the American people and Eastern Europe has understood, following US inaction during the five day war, that its newfound allegiance to the US is little more than a mockery.


For more on this: http://www.ilpodesta.org/2008/11/after-euphoria.html

Report this

By Dateline Sharon, November 19, 2008 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would have preferred an M.D. as the head of HHS, especially since we need a universal health plan pretty quickly, and there are many qualified physicians running nonprofits and pro-universal care organizations who would have probably been great. Instead we now have another Clinton era retread politician whose health care plan (according to his book) is a “Federal Reserve” of health care. In other words, another “bailout” - this time for health insurance companies.

So the HHS pick concerns me. The majority of Americans want a single payer type of plan. The most expedient, and probably the least expensive, would probably be to simply open up Medicare to everybody. The admin for it is already in place - they just need some administrators to clean it up (Plan D abolished, I’m sure the Bush cronies messed it up horribly) and set it up so that administratively it’s available to everybody. Really, it’s not rocket science.

Instead, we are going to get a “privatized federal plan.” Where have we seen this before? The financial sector. What a shame. And a total scam. :(

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 19, 2008 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: lichen

“Single-payer health care, an immediate end to the wars, a progressive tax policy where the rich are forced to pay, are all majoritarian issues in this country, but it is relevant to point out and recognize the differences, because they don’t go away.”

I understand your point, I do.  But it is impossible and I think an INVENTED stumbling block to address them as such.  If the MAJORITY of Americans, what I normally refer to as, The People, allow themselves to be fractioned in this manner or more precisely MARGINALIZED by the ficticious rhetoric of left or right, things will never change.  It’s a scam, and we are the victims.

We, as a people, do not need to agree on every issue, nor do we need to be marginalized by being labeled this or that.  This reduces OUR POWER, the AMERICAN PEOPLES’ POWER.

What we need to do, is stand up, all of us, as The American People.

Report this

By lichen, November 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, I think it is relevant to classify people based on where they stand on those issues, and especially for the people who have no principals in the first place, but are just democratic partisans (and will thus appropriate that as their worldview and accuse other people of being republican or otherwise partisans and/or engaging in a likewise personality cult.)  Single-payer health care, an immediate end to the wars, a progressive tax policy where the rich are forced to pay, are all majoritarian issues in this country, but it is relevant to point out and recognize the differences, because they don’t go away.  And especially, I think, it is very relevant to point out the differences between democrats and those of us who strive for a kinder, more equal, more sustainable world.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 19, 2008 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

So….I’m curious… What are the top five issues which makes someone “leftist”?

All this leftist rightist bullshit is just THAT, bullshit.

It’s just easier to see people as asses and non-asses.  Asses, will only enrich themselves and non-asses are willing to work to solve problems IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF EVERYONE.

Screw this center right….center left mantra.

Do you think people should DIE because they don’t have healthcare?

How long should sick people suffer, even if they don’t DIE because they don’t have healthcare?  A week…a month…6 months…?

Should we as a country be going around the world killing people to keep “our” industry going?

Does it sit right with you that some people work 40-60 hours a week and are eligible for welfare?

Is it okay for business interests to be protected by American Forces, or for that matter private forces which are PAID for with TAXPAYER DOLLARS, so they can rape, rob and steal across the globe with impunity?

What the hell is right or left about these issues?

Obama’s choices HAVE endorsed these things, that’s WHY it matters.  Filling his cabinet with crooked, degenerate liars, MATTERS.  To call it left or right is stupid.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 19, 2008 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

lichen, November 19 at 7:22 pm #

I’m sure you do watch fox news, itwbs, but I don’t, because unlike you, it isn’t right up my alley. And no, actually, ‘america’ didn’t elect barack obama, only a little over half of the 62% of elgible voters that showed up and weren’t disenfranchised did, and many of them on the clause of the lesser evil and clearly the victim of the privatized, big media election machine.  The triplets of corporatism, imperialism, and ecological destruction are reigning on high still, the difference is that I object to them, and you don’t.
**********************************************

There you go with more ranting insults.  I don’t watch Fox Noise much because it revolts me.  But I do occasionally read their blogs…I consider most of their posters to be fascist haters of American freedom—but you have to know how the other side thinks—that’s part of strategy.

You also need a review in how our electoral process works: People who are eligible to vote either go or don’t go to vote.  If they don’t go, they have no right to complain.  Kids don’t get to vote—that’s in the rules.  I turned 18 in 1973, so that November I was eligible to vote in the off-year elections—and I have voted ever since.

People who DO vote get their votes counted.  Now, we KNOW that they don’t directly matter—only the Electoral Vote really matters.  But Obama got large majorities of both.  He WAS elected by the majority of Adult American Citizens who chose to EXERCISE that right to vote.

You have NO idea what I object to or not.  But, being as mindless as a Sarah Palin fan, you think merely by supporting and hoping for Obama’s success, I must therefore be for corporatism (whatever that is), imperialism (which I strongly oppose) and ecological destruction.  How you get that from merely supporting our President-Elect is a miracle of cognitive dissonance—truly bizarre thinking.

Go ahead, call me some more names—I know you will because you have no arguments—just a lot of invective.

BTW, congratulations on a well-chosen handle.  “Lichen”—a rather disgusting, primitive plant that renders rocks smell and slimy.

Report this

By Maani, November 19, 2008 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Dasm:

Yes, the level of cynicism here is quite remarkable.

lichen:

“And no, actually, ‘america’ didn’t elect barack obama, only a little over half of the 62% of elgible voters that showed up and weren’t disenfranchised did.”

I don’t know where you are getting your stats, but they’re wrong.

There are 231 million people of voting age in the U.S.  And although the number of registered voters for 2008 is not available, consider that it was 174 million in 2004 and 138 million in 2006 (yes, we had that many fewer registered voters in 2006).

Since we know that 2007/2008 saw perhaps the most effective voter registration drive in recent history, let us say that the number of registered voters went back to 2004 levels (they are likely to be much higher).  If 128 million people (the total popular vote) voted out of a total of 174 million, that is about 75% of eligible voters who voted.

As well, Obama’s 53% to 46% win in the popular vote represents the third largest difference in votes (8.5 million) since 1964.  So while it is true that Obama is also president of the 46% who did not vote for him, he has a very clear mandate from both the popular vote and the electoral college vote.

Peace.

Report this

By JakePDX, November 19, 2008 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I know we all feel a little empty now that we have no polls to pour over, and we’re all jonesing for that hard politics fix. But let’s not jump down Obama’s throat to fill that void. If you’re a Democrat, and you have experience in national government, chances are you worked for the Clintons. OK? Can we give Obama a chance? He’s really not Bill Clinton. We elected him to be a leader, remember? So let’s just wait and see how he leads his cabinet, and what policies he presents. Then we can pass judgment. For now, please continue to bash Bush. Time’s running out!

Report this

By lichen, November 19, 2008 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

I’m sure you do watch fox news, itwbs, but I don’t, because unlike you, it isn’t right up my alley. And no, actually, ‘america’ didn’t elect barack obama, only a little over half of the 62% of elgible voters that showed up and weren’t disenfranchised did, and many of them on the clause of the lesser evil and clearly the victim of the privatized, big media election machine.  The triplets of corporatism, imperialism, and ecological destruction are reigning on high still, the difference is that I object to them, and you don’t.

Report this
Arius's avatar

By Arius, November 19, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

“By sensible humans, November 19 at 1:12 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Same sh*t different administration.  Recycling has-beens who have even been voted out of office for - what else - change!  This is ridiculous.  Can we do a recall vote and stop this before it happens?  For as much as Obama wants to “fix” and “change” things, he keeps bringing in more of the idiots who have broken it all!”

There is nothing sensible about that post and I am not an Obama fan-

Stop the extremist ideology and fuzzy facts people. All it’s going to do is raise your blood pressure.

Report this
Arius's avatar

By Arius, November 19, 2008 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

“Many who voted for him, as did this writer, relied upon his evident qualities… “

Man I knew that before you even said it.. You show so much bias in your writing that you can’t be objective on the topic.

You love Obama, you hate the Clinton’s.  Anyone who could dare to write “evident qualities”.. I mean seriously!  how unprofessional much alone delusional.

What evident qualities? his oracle abilities in speaking when he uses stolen rhetoric?

I’m sorry but honestly, this exudes foolishness. Anyone who really believed any of the bullshit Obama said isn’t well rounded in common sense and reality.

By the way I’m not a right winger hating on ‘the other side’. I’m a proud liberal independent who did not support the fraud you speak of with reverence.

I look forward to Senator Clinton as our SOS. I think she’s a wonderful choice and hope she does end up getting (and accepting) the position.

I knew all along Obama was an empty full of rhetoric, fraud, loaded with ambition and empty on facts and a resume.  Empty on real talent and qualifications but loaded with enough bullshit to fill the hearts and minds of bots everywhere.

Well congrats folks, we went from Bush sheep to Obama bots who chose our leaders-

I for one, stuck with this guy, am at least happy to see names resurface who were in charge of this country back when things were pretty damn good.  It’s better than newbies who don’t know shit from apple butter, especially in these times of economic crisis world wide.  I’ll be happy to see some old timers on board to at least get us on a workable path, hopefully.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

lichen, November 19 at 6:04 pm #

Oh yes, dasm, everyone who doesn’t support the status quo of the center-right democratic party is a republican troll; after all, what’s not to like?  It isn’t possible that there is actually a principled, left opposition, who actually values human life everywhere equally, as well as economic justice, environmental stability, and civil rights.  Oh no, if people don’t like Obama’s junkyard of not-yet-recycled DLC trash, it is because they are secretly partisan republicans, not because some of us, nearly all of us are on the LOSING end of the policies that these scumbags bring about.  And you better fucking believe that those of us who’s comfort are destroyed by the economic policies of poverty creation, who can’t stand the thought of another arab or another latin american left dissident being murdered, who truly want to have a green future on this planet, are going to be upset, are going to be negative towards a charlatan who had posed, unconvincingly, as someone who was going to change things for the better.
*************************************

No facts, just a bunch of “fucking” labels in a rant.  He’s not Nader. He’s not a radical left-wing-nut.  He’s a moderate Democrat.

Guess what? THAT is exactly what America wants.  And that’s what we elected.

Except for the minor details of WHAT you object to about Obama, you sound just like the racist, fascist jugheads posting on Fox Noise.  Go ahead. Go read them. They are as filled with hate for this man as you are.  No difference.

Report this

By lichen, November 19, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

“If you read reactions from politically experienced people/groups”

IE mainstream media pundits and bullshit partisan democrat organizations.  If you read the politically experienced/informed people at counterpunch.org, you do not find they are “pleased” with the scum.

Report this

By lichen, November 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Oh yes, dasm, everyone who doesn’t support the status quo of the center-right democratic party is a republican troll; after all, what’s not to like?  It isn’t possible that there is actually a principled, left opposition, who actually values human life everywhere equally, as well as economic justice, environmental stability, and civil rights.  Oh no, if people don’t like Obama’s junkyard of not-yet-recycled DLC trash, it is because they are secretly partisan republicans, not because some of us, nearly all of us are on the LOSING end of the policies that these scumbags bring about.  And you better fucking believe that those of us who’s comfort are destroyed by the economic policies of poverty creation, who can’t stand the thought of another arab or another latin american left dissident being murdered, who truly want to have a green future on this planet, are going to be upset, are going to be negative towards a charlatan who had posed, unconvincingly, as someone who was going to change things for the better.

Report this

By dasm, November 19, 2008 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The majority of posts on this item must be from negative Republican trolls—it’s sickening that so much negativity towards the president-elect is shown here, and he isn’t even in office.  Many writers apparently have no optimism or hope about anything in future of the U.S.  With that attitude, they will always remain negative & pessimistic. The biggest complainers also appear to have no knowledge about the people they are attacking—just nasty opinions.  If you read reactions from politically experienced people/groups about Obama’s picks, most are quite pleased with his choices (except, of course, right-wing pundits & Fox “news”). Perhaps some of you should get involved yourselves, instead of just attacking Obama for every move he makes, or every thought he has. I look forward to the day he is in office, and wish it were coming even sooner.

Report this

By Michael Kelly, November 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Knock the Obama presidency down to size before its too late. His misbegotten administration of Has Beens and Cronies is destroying our children’s future. “Change that you can believe in,” was just PR.

But, he isn’t even president yet. His administration hasn’t started.

Never mind that, all politicians are the same, nothing ever changes. I’ve seen it all. Smash that plaster saint before he actually changes something.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 19, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Maani,

Yeah we don’t agree on much, generally, but I get VERY tired with the ultra-left—the same ones who said they were voting for Nader, now are p***ed at Obama for NOT being Nader—and they didn’t vote for him anyway (which means they voted for McCain—one way or another).

OF COURSE HE’S NOT NADER!  He never said he would be.  And, I, for one, am glad of it.

The fantasies made up about Clinton in just this thread alone sound like the twins of the ones made up about Clinton on the various Fox Noise blogs.  Jeez, how did that pig get elected…TWICE…when the Left and the Right are busy telling us how he’s Satan Incarnate…BILL CLINTON?????

I think using the best and brightest Clinton had gives Obama serious brains with VALUABLE experience.  Sure, McCain has experience.  But he learned NOTHING from it, so it’s worthless.

But, you know what?  I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it in the future: Barack Obama doesn’t come to Truthdig to vet his ideas.

Report this
no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, November 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Whoooaaaa, Nelly…

You know, some years ago I couldn’t figure out why I was having trouble with my personal relationships until one day I had an epiphany. I reallized that as soon as I started dating someone, I braced for the worst and in the process I disallowed her any opportunity to prove she was different from the previous disaster. Are we so accustomed to dissecting the Bush administration that we’ve forgotten the most important part here? Barack Obama isn’t president and has not wronged us yet!

Plus, the writer assumes that the former Clinton team members have learned nothing from the Bush administration or their own. Am I only one that’s been pushed to the left in this country by our current president? Let’s also not forget that by hiring experienced people, we might not make some of the same mistakes that were made in the early years of Clinton.

The time to critisize Obama will come, but please remember who’s finger is still on the button. We have 2 months of signing statements, economic deregulation, and presidential pardons from Bush to worry about. I share the concerns. Believe me. I’ve been concerned since Obama first reversed himself on principles essential to our democracy [FISA, contribution bundling, military privatization…]. All that said, I refuse to convict the man before he’s had a chance to do anything. He may be hiring some of the same people, but in the end it is the president who makes the big decisions. So far, he at least seems to be willing and open to many reversals of Bush policy

The writer may “brace for disappointment” all he likes. I choose to give Obama the chance he deserves. Time will tell and if he strays from the path, I promise to be the first to call him on it.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

While it is true, Anarcissie, that the Bushite foreign policy was disastrous from a long term power viewpoint, elements of the ruling class made a bundle from it.  Here I was complaining about a few billions of dollars in hundred dollar bills being loaded on pallets and sent into Gop limbo, when hundreds of billiions are now being stolen in plain sight.  Supported by Obama, etc.

A world ruling class is now in the process of historical formation and it appears that the American ruling class is draining the US power system of all it can get to position itself globally.

And Summers is an ideal choice for Obama, now that his mentor Rubin has turned the job down.  He is a neoliberal with strong Zionist sympaathies, calling the academic Israeli divestment campaign anti-Semitic.  He was strongly defeneded by Dershowitz for his opposition to the academic anti-Semites.

And I don’t see how you can call him a blockhead. He was president of Harvard, a highly Educated man.  Indeed, after cleaning out the Black Studies program he stated explicitly that there weren’t many women scientists because they didn’t think so good. Presumably like he did.  He seems made for the Obiden team, the Dem counterpart to Bushism.  And don’t worry,  many equally intelligent Progressives will support him.

Report this
Samson's avatar

By Samson, November 19, 2008 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Paul Craig Roberts had one line in his recent article on the bailouts that nailed it perfectly.

He asked if the Democrats are now trying to become the party of the rich.

The answer is a definite yes.  Everything the Democrats say these days is just that they can be better managers of the same policies as the Republicans.  In other words, they are telling the rich that they can be better Republicans than the Republicans for them.

Their goals and policies are exactly the same as the Republicans in that they serve the interests of the rich.  The Democrats simply state they can be more competent managers and officials of these policies than the Republicans are.

This is key to understand.  This is why we need a new mass popular party in this country.  Both the Democrats and the Republicans serve the rich.  We need politicians who will serve us.

If you doubt this, watch where the bailout money goes, and watch the wars continue.

Report this

By sensible humans, November 19, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Same sh*t different administration.  Recycling has-beens who have even been voted out of office for - what else - change!  This is ridiculous.  Can we do a recall vote and stop this before it happens?  For as much as Obama wants to “fix” and “change” things, he keeps bringing in more of the idiots who have broken it all!

Report this
prole's avatar

By prole, November 19, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Oh, no! Wasn’t St. Barack someone at last that idealistic ‘progressives’ could fervently believe
in, a new secular-humanist messiah that could assuage all that neurotic white guilt, and lead his followers to a new zion (in more ways than one) And besides, the Dem’s have never let us down before have they? And now suddenly, completely out of the blue, surprise, surprise, “it rather looks as if they may actually be asked to make do with a mildly refurbished Clinton administration”. Yes, it rather does at that, doesn’t it ‘ol chap! So what else is new. The “illiterate” Americans who voted for a transparent huckster like Obama Copacabana are every used car salesman’s dream. Obviously not much has changed since David Hannum (or was it David Axelrod?) made his immortal assessment of the perennial condition of American society, “there’s a sucker born every minute” - most of them today, Obama supporters, so it would seem.  Oh dear, come to think of it, “Looking back, he was rarely specific about the changes he intended to make”...nope, most obviously not…“for which—admittedly—he was criticized at the time.”...yep, and for which the prescient critics were roundly booed by his true believers at the time, who only now are just starting -“admittedley” - to wake up to the unpleasant hangover caused by their over-intoxcation with “his evident qualities, in comparison with his predecessor and most of his competitors”. Right, that lesser of two or three evils thing all over again. Other than that, after all, what’s there to like about Obama? “He was an adult” (preeminent qualification for the office) - who spoke to most of his fawning followers like - credulous children. Adults after all needn’t be very specific about anything, that wouldn’t be very “balanced” or “mature”, now would it?. “The disappointment problem is international” - and so
is the lost opportunity now to avert it. All Obama had to do - with a lot of $ and spin - was hoodwink the naive voters for a few months and then after the sham election is over and the wool is at last lifted from his chagrined supporters eyes, it’s too late to do anything about it. Understanably, “any Obama-Clinton restoration of Clintonism would be met with incomprehension and disappointment. This is not because the Clinton administration was so awful, but because it was so” worse than awful, positively genocidal! Exactly the description of the Clinton sanctions regime in Iraq made by Dennis Halliday, UN representative there at the time, and many other international observers. UNICEF, estimated the sanctions killed 4-5,000 Iraqis a month, mainly children. And then too, there was the unnecessary bombing in the Balkans that swept away the War Powers Act, the cruise missile attack on Khartoum, the onslaught in Palestine and a lot of other wanton death and destruction by the Clinton cabal that probably comes close to equalling barbarous Bush’s toll. “Dissapointment” is the least of it. It was very easy for Bush to merge with the Clinton catastrophe, as the two are so similar. There really wasn’t much to add since fear, WMD, torture were already present; it was only a matter of degree, not of kind. Hillary, after all, in the Senate voted in favor of the use of force in Iraq by Bush; and Bill didn’t oppose it either. And the same is true of Obama, who has voted for every Iraq funding bill in his brief cameo role in the Senate.  It’s only a matter of degree and not of kind between him and “his predecessor and most of his (campaign) competitors” “After all, it was Barack Obama who said that” nothing is off the table when dealing with Iran, including the use of force. So if Obama attacks Iran - or Pakistan or Afghanistan or Venezuela or…? - or ends up exterminating as many innocent civilians as genocidal, worse-than-awful, Bill Clinton did, we can thank the “mature” “balanced” “adults” who voted for him, despite their belated, overdue, mea culpa’s.

Report this

By doglover, November 19, 2008 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WAH WAH
Hold off on crying just yet, chicken little.
To find experience, where do you expect Obama to go?  The Carter administration?  The Bush administration? Clinton was chastised for not bringing in experience people and now you criticize Obama for bringing in the experienced.  The country can not afford to wait for people to get up to speed in Washington.  Are you really going to judge Obama harshly this early on, before he is even President? 

I will wait until he is actually The president before I start wringing my hands like you.

Report this
JustTheFacts's avatar

By JustTheFacts, November 19, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Look, I was a staunch supporter of Obama…But I have to say…he’d better have a helluva “New Deal” up his sleeve with this refurbished cast of characters…my political needle is gravitating towards “phucking up” on the ” Change-O-Meter ”

Report this

By Bboy57, November 19, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Change just for the sake of, is NOT GOOD. The left in todays political climate are just as much idologues as the right, and there’s the rub.

This pendulum swinging back and forth DOES NOTHING but promote the reelection of the two party’s. With their 2nd place finish in this years election Republicans are well positioned to reclaim seats they lost to democrates in 06-08. And so we go…back and forth…back and forth, while the middle class gets whittled away, piece by piece and the dollar goes down the hatch!

The banks and insurances control the Federal Reserve, which gets minions like Goldwater Sachs’ Paulson to do their dirty work. That has been obvious through this bailout mess WHICH BOTH PARTIES fully endorced. Where was OUR CHOICE HERE?! Guess what, YOU didn’t have one. YOU were extorted through the Senate. The democratic controlled Senate.

Change…it’s just another euphamism. Especially in Washington.  We would have been better off if the South had won (the civil war). Then we could choose our State of the union not have those who don’t represent us any more, choose it despite us.

Until one of the parties doesn’t finish 2nd, it’s the standard fleecing as usual. The political monopoly bolsters one another up. So in 10-12 get ready to see the pendulum swing…Back, while you sit idilly by helpless to change a thing, because of NO REAL CHANGE on the political homefront, just different faces controlling the means to the same end. And that is not representing YOU, Joe the Plumber..and LOWER….

Report this

By Maani, November 19, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

ITW:

We rarely agree on much (LOL), but your post is on the money.

I also want to add re Hillary that everyone seems to be missing something.  With very few exceptions, Obama and Hillary agreed on most foreign policy issues, including shutting down the Iraq War (yes, she voted for it; get over it).

Given that nowhere is the willingness of an appointee to carry out the preident’s agenda more critical than as SoS, - and given that she does have SOME foreign policy experience, as well as long-standing relationships with many world leaders - and Hillary may be UNIQUELY positioned for SoS.

Peace.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 19, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

I don’t know, Writer, maybe a berter way to say it is that the population does want change by not the additional attributes that change implies.  People want change as long as everything stays the same.

But in the Obama era it looks like both Hopes are going to be disappointed.  It looks like things are going to get worse.  It is evening in the Amereican power system.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 19, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Folktruther: ... No, it is not a Clinton administration we can look forward to, but the third term of Bush.

In regard to foreign and military affairs, I don’t think the Bush brand of national imperialism worked out very well from a ruling-class point of view.  (Or anyone else’s.)  I think we are going to see a return to the collegial imperialism of the Clinton years, if only because it is more rational and stable and is a lot cheaper.

However, Obama’s big problem is not foreign and military affairs but the catastrophic situation left behind by Bubbles Greenspan and his enablers.  Having a blockhead like Summers as economic proconsul seems like an odd choice.

Report this

By Hulk2008, November 19, 2008 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As skilled as Bill was in his day, maybe Hillary is just that much smarter and practical.  At least she doesn’t smoke cigars.  It makes sense that Barack and Hillary would do and say what they believed was needed to be elected.  Neither is Bill; but with his many foibles, Bill’s “nineties” were far preferable to the last 8. 
    IF (big if) health care can be solved and removed as a burden to both business and the populace, and the ill-begotten wars concluded, stability can return.  Mr. Pfaff and his ilk are already crying over milk that has yet to be spilled - maybe it’s still in the cow - victims of “premature evaluation”. 
    Let’s give the New Guy a chance to perform before we shut down.

Report this

By WriterOnTheStorm, November 19, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

This outlier can see little evidence that Americans want change. It’s easy to say you want change. It makes you feel good to say it. But this is like saying you want to be a rock star without fully understanding just how much mascara and how little spandex you’re going to have to wear to get there. Change candidates were on most ballots in this election, and Americans could have voted for them. They didn’t.

Looking at it with a more critical eye, an outlier’s eye, it seems apparent that what Americans want, is that their tribe, loosely defined, but labeled democrats for convenience on one side, to defeat the opposing tribe, the republicans on the other side. Obama was deemed the most likely candidate to ensure tribal victory against the republicans. He printed “change” on his campaign flyers and posters, but it might just as well have been another word - peace? prosperity? freedom? lasagna? - as long as that word was traction-tested in the focus groups.

I can think of few changes of any meaning or significance in America that would not require the complete retooling of the entire Faustian apparatus that is the guiding red right hand of our journey from nascence to obsolescence. The sooner people stop pretending to be disappointed, the sooner Obama can stop pretending to be our visionary redeemer and get on with his real job - that of scapegoat-in-chief. And Americans can get on with blaming the administration du jour for the existential malaise that is even now playing croquet on the lawns of their psychic gardens.

Report this

By GrammaConcept, November 19, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Oh, do be very careful, friends….
Something that Has been proven ad infinitum is….:

........As we think, so we become…....

The fire we feed is the fire that grows..

Strive on, please…

Report this

By jamiedbruce, November 19, 2008 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

what I find amazing in this article is how quick people in the Media are ready to be negative. I guess that sales but really the guy hasn’t even started and we have to read articles of disappointment from the Left (as well as lies from the right such as “obama’s recession.”) Who do you think Obama should hire? inexperience people? I mean really!! give it a rest. Of course he will look after the interest of the USA. He is the president of the USA not Europe!!!

Report this

By Howard Mandel, November 19, 2008 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It amazes me how everybody projects there own idea of change onto Barack Obama. I was at an Obama rally before the election and some friend of a friend was railing about how immigrants were destroying this country. I asked him why he came to the rally, seeing as he sounded pretty republican to me. He said Barack Obama was going to bring change.

It’s another American comedy how the pundit class is characterizing the Obama government before there is one. We elected the guy because from every corner of the country change is what people want. Everybody has their own perception of what that change ought to be, but it’s going to be defined by one man, and that’s Obama. If he wants to surround himself with a cacophony of voices, that’s already more change than I’ve seen in my lifetime. It may not be all things to all people, but it sure seems like a good start.

Report this

By Folktruther, November 19, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

The Obama administration is NOT going to be a retread of the Clinton administration.  It promises to be much worse.  Obama is to the right of Clinton not because of his personal preclivities, but because the power consensus of the ruling class has gone to the right since the Clinton administration.

It has been followed by the Bushite counterrevolution.  Clinton was impeached by the Gops not because he banged his secratary or whatever it was- promiscuity being common in politics as it is in war to relieve the tension- but because Clinton would not go full out imperialist militarily. 

Since Clinton the US power system has not only become increasingly oppressive, disfunctional and obsolete, it has become pathological.  It is perverted by Zionist imperialism.  Both US foreign and domestic policy has been hijacked, in both parties, by the organized money and media of Jewish and Christian Zionism.

This has perverted Bushite policy and it is perverting Obama’s.  OBama is not going to redo
Clinton, he is serving the third term of Bush.  That he is more intelligent, attractive, and capable is totally irrelevant to the power factors that exist to constrain him.

The Dem leaders in Congress are now attacking progressives explicitly to justify turning toward Lieberman and the Gops on foreign and economic policy.  As Scheer just said in his new article, Rubin and his protege Summers left over from the Clinton administration, and key Obama advisers, were instrumental in deregulation.  They are now the counterpart of Paulson.  And Biden is a better version of Cheney.

No, it is not a Clinton administration we can look forward to, but the third term of Bush.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 19, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Sepharad—I imagine Obama cut some kind of deal with Lieberman which had nothing to do with ideology.

Report this

By KenDen, November 19, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

I too was getting concerned about the direction of the Obama administration, but no, I’m not going there.  I’ve decided to chill out and give the guy 6 months to see how things are going then.  Maybe because of the last 8 years, we all have become so hyper alert to deception, that we see it every where now.  So, I for one, am going to chill out, and watch how this all plays out.  If in July, he is looking more and more like more of the same, I’ll jump back in.  But right now, I need a break from the 8 years of being on edge because of Bush.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 19, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

elianita55: ’... I wonder why the choice of Hillary Clinton as SoS brought on this sudden onslaught of criticism and disappointment and that the choice of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s Chief of Staff went virtually unnoticed. ...’

It’s a matter of rank within the monarchy.  Also, Obama’s supposed anti-war aura was based on little more than his being a competitor of pro-war, imperialist Clinton.  Thus, appointing Clinton to be in charge of American foreign policy is making unmistakable even to the sleepy what was already obvious to the attentive; there is bound to be some clucking about it.

Report this
Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, November 19, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

Just because the Clintons were the only Dem’s in town for nearly a decade, don’t think everyone who worked for them are still (or were ever) Loyal to them. What about Richardson? He freed himself from their Political grip.
Frankly I Too hope to be judged on my recent actions and not on mistakes I made in the past…I voted for and was even a avid defender of Both Clintons throughout the ‘90’s….I can’t stand the sight of them now, esp Hillary!
The ‘Left’ is beginning to sound like the ‘Eat your Young’ neo cons, Prejudgemental and Fear mongers. Let’s take a walk in to some of these paranoids OWN History.What decisions did you make that were Wrong, or that you made because you had no choice? I am going to be PISSED if I have to hear BS from the neo con right and the zealots of the Left for the next 4-8 yrs. I’m a ‘Lefty’ but I am as sick of their BS as I am the Religious Right!
The worst thing the Liberals could do is act like the Right.Sit Down,Shut Up and see What happens before you doom all to Hell!
it appears the ‘left’ is going to use the same editted historical techniques as the Neo Cons. Tell US one or two missteps to get US all freaked out that there’s a Huge consprioacy which Obama is an accomplice too. If the Left is not smarter than the Right then were screwed. At least consider One adage ...‘Better to remain silent and Thought a fool than Open your mouth and dispel all Doubt’

Report this

By wake up!, November 19, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People, people, people. Enough already! Pfaff
speaks of a major disappointment, what does he
think we have been dealing with for 8 years!!
We have had an oaf in office who does not
deserve to be janitor let alone president.
Obama can talk and answer serious questions
without making faces, smirking or clowning
around. And the Clintons were no more a
disaster or disgusting than these baffoons
we have been dealing with the past 2 terms.
Why are we being critical before he has even
taken office? We have just gone through what
will probably be the worst terms this country
has ever seen and on a destruction course to
hell. Now we want it to be fixed overnight.

Report this

By elianita55, November 19, 2008 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

I think a good dose of lucidity is needed here. It is not strange that Obama is offering Hillary the SoS position, it is logical. It was clear from the beginning that Obama was going to offer her a high-level position in his administration.

This should not be interpreted a return of Clintonism. Try finding a high-profile, experienced Democrat that fits the bill for SoS and that has absolutely no link to the former Clinton administration. Obama cannot afford to surround himself entirely by neophytes; he needs support from an experienced team.

Obama has been surrounding himself by former Clintonites since he was elected. I wonder why the choice of Hillary Clinton as SoS brought on this sudden onslaught of criticism and disappointment and that the choice of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s Chief of Staff went virtually unnoticed.

There is another reason Obama is doing this. He knows that the Democratic party cannot afford to ignore its Clintonist faction. The Clinton era is too recent and counts too many faithfuls for it to be discounted. If the Democrats want to stay in power in the long term, they need to avoid internal fighting and present a coherent party stance to the opposition. Look at what’s happening to the socialist party in France. It’s on the verge of self-destruction.

Let’s not hold this against Obama. But let’s be realistic and lessen our expectations of “change”.

Report this

By get real, November 19, 2008 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am thankful to have a president who can talk for heavens sake. We have had 8 years of utter failure and empty promises. Having the same
people does not mean doing the same thing.
My pocketbook was much better off during the
Clinton years.We cannot expect miracles no
matter who is in office because of the mess
the Bush years have made.Obama will make
mistakes like every other president has
because they are human but this man is smart
and can think. I do not remember people being this critical of Bush before he was in office.
This current administratin has left this
country AND world in utter shambles, shambles. Now all of a sudden we want miracles and want
to react before Obama has even taken office.He is walking into probably the biggest mess any other president has had to face. Give him a chance. And frankly how could it be any worse than what we have had these past 8 years.

Report this

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >

 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook